October 2011

Bringing Nature To Life

"Nature books made the world magical again."

When I was a kid, I was sure that there were elves living in a small circle of trees outside my window and that the 

flowers bloomed because of faeries. I grew up and the mysteries of nature weren't that mysterious any more.

There were no elves and the faeries turned out to just be bees and they don't like little kids hanging around their flowers. I still loved nature and everything associated with it, but I had taken a hard line that Mother Nature was just an expression.

My experience with nature was mostly with the forests and lands of the Midwest. It wasn't until I got older that I discovered that lush green of rain forests and the various animals that could only be found in these truly wild lands. Where did I learn about these new and exotic places? Nature Books.

The Kids Nature Book

by Susan Milord (Author, Editor, Illustrator)

Let's face it, we live in a digital world filled with cell phones, tablet computers and the Internet. It's hard to get kids out

 of the house, let alone actually interested in nature. They're too busy killing aliens on Playstation and moving blocks on their Nintendo DS.

Kids spend less and less time outside and more time on the computer living their life digitally. They don't play with their friends and instead text back and forth or IM from the computer. The play date has been replaced by an Xbox Live Call of Duty meet and greet.

Their friends don't live next door, but all over the world. So what are parents supposed to do if they want their kids not to look like those vampires from Twilight? “The Kids Nature Book” gives parents 365 activities to get their children interested in what is outside the house.

Nature Guides: The Perfect Companion


A friend of mine is an avid hiker. He loves it so much that he bought a cabin near a national park and goes there a 

couple times a year. He simply grabs his pack and goes walking for hours on end. It's his time to reflect on the world and enjoy the beauty of nature.

There are countless guides available on everything from insects and animals to plants and rocks. I once bought a bird book for my father-in-law that even had buttons that he could listen to the call of each individual bird in the book.

When my friend goes hiking, he takes one nature guide with him. It's what he focuses on each trip. That way he isn't stopping every 10 seconds to switch books. Nature guides should only be a way to enjoy nature even more and not a scavenger hunt.

Rock Collecting: A Rockhound's Resource


When I was a little kid, I would occasionally go to my aunt's ranch and explore her many acres of forest. It was pretty

 ordinary for the most part, if you don't count the cactus. One day, I came across a small brook and decided to run my feet through the cool water.

I noticed a rock that seemed a little different than the rest. It turned out to be a piece of quartz, but to me is was pure treasure. I excitedly took it back to my aunt, and she showed me the collection of stones and crystals that she'd collected over the years.

My journey as a rock hound had begun. When I go anywhere new, I'm always on the lookout for new and unique stones and minerals. I keep a copy of the “The Book of Stones” in the back of my car, so I always have it as a resource on my travels. The book has great full-color pictures and explanations of the most interesting rocks and minerals you can find.